Amy Budd from Whole Heart Ranch has combined a lifetime of horsemanship with her passion for helping others to achieve their goals. She has created a variety of programs which encourage authenticity and wholeness.
“I believe horses are agents of change and have the ability to awaken something deep inside our core and move us in a way we can not achieve on our own.”
Would you say that horses differ from other animals in terms of their sensory aptitudes?
Yes and no. Prior to this work, I was in the pet food industry for twenty years so I have had plenty of experience with animals of all kinds. I think all animals have the ability to see us for who we are, they see our heart and see our soul self. Horses, similarly to dolphins and whales, are sentient beings able to experience emotion, but because of their hooves, are profoundly grounded and connected to earth. They give us a much different sense of self.
I work a lot with HeartMath™ and find that using horses within this program is hugely beneficial. HeartMath™ tools teach how to both become aware of our emotional energetic field, as well as change it. Our heart is around the size of our fist and every time our heart beats we emit an electromagnetic field. A horse’s heart is five times the size of ours, subsequently their electromagnetic field is huge.
HeartMath™ is a tool that helps you to have awareness about your emotional state while having the ability to shift it. You have the option of moving into a higher energy or vibrational field, and into a higher emotional state from any negative and depleting emotions. Our emotions are the primary driver of our energetic field that is constantly sending out information.
When in proximity with a horse, or a herd of horses, and because the horse’s heart and field is so big, your heart can not help but want to get in sync with that higher vibrational rhythm. It brings us into a state of coherence where our heart, mind and emotions are all in alignment.
What is your personal experience with horses and how did they impact your own life development?
I FINALLY got my first horse when I was twelve years old. He was my safe harbor, always. I went through quite a difficult childhood and fell victim to eating disorders, family dysfunction, to name a couple. Being with my horse (and others) was my safe haven – there was no judgment, only unconditional love.
What programs do you offer the public and who can best benefit from them?
I offer a wide array of programs. Online, I offer the HeartMath Resilience Program™ for individuals, teams or organizations. In person, because I have the ranch, I offer a combination of both HeartMath and the horsework, and leadership development.
I am passionate about working with kids because I feel they are struggling right now navigating the insanity of our current world. I also feel they are more open and wiser than older generations. I do a combination of programs for these kids.
In terms of our development as people, we begin to have emotional baggage and build up emotional ‘moats’ around ourselves. Whatever the scenario, when we work with horses, because they truly see right through to the heart and soul of us, and have the ability to mirror back whatever that stuck point is for a given person, they help us move beyond this. It is fascinating. Horses offer us a wonderful honest conversation with our self if we are willing to be honest and vulnerable.
Are any of your clients completely unaccustomed or perhaps intimidated by the horses?
Absolutely. Most people are curious but intimidated by the horses. However, when you stand with them, you see how engaging and curious they are so people usually get over the intimidation pretty quickly.
Are all horses able to carry out this work, and what is required of them?
I went through a two year certification program to do the horse coaching and horse facilitating and, of course, I have a lifetime of experience with horses so reading their behavior comes very naturally to me. Horses will give us instant feedback when you are working with them. Learning to read the feedback and ask the appropriate questions provides an amazing opportunity to get to our core self, any limiting beliefs, and the ability to move beyond and really make a lasting change. I always give my horses the option of not working with a given person, and in fact they will simply walk away if they are not interested.
Any horse has the ability to do this ‘work’. Innately, horses are wired to be these acoustical beings and have a very heightened sensory awareness. Energetically, they will know when they see, hear or feel you whether you are a friend or foe. Their wiring is instinctual and was for survival. With their heightened senses they can “read” what is going on inside of us at the deepest level and can mirror back in a way to provide the opportunity for a deep “conversation” with ourselves.
What have been your greatest achievements in the lives of others?
Helping people connect on a deeper level, connect back to their heart and soul space and back to the authentic part of themselves. Helping people let go of all the layers of ‘trivia’ and finding their authenticity and wholeness within is an incredibly rewarding aspect of my life. This work is so deep and personal in many instances – it is really not my achievement it is theirs.